On this episode of Empire, titled “Evil Manners,” Jamal connects with Lucious through music, Diana tries to sabotage Cookie’s passion project, Shyne learns the truth about Lucious and Warren manipulates Jamal.
Lucious can’t forget that Leah called him a monster, so he decides to quiz every family member about what horrible things he’s done to them. Cookie doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but Hakeem tells Lucious he once punched him in the face. Jamal is hesitant to participate, and Hakeem urges his brother to tell the trash can story, but Cookie cuts that conversation off.
Cookie Rises to the Top
Lucious turns his attention to his ex-wife. He still wants to know why they were apart for 17 years. He wants to know why she left, but Cookie hightails it out of the room.
While things may not be going well for Cookie personally, professionally, she’s on top of the world. She’s earned a spot on Forbes magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Business. Cookie’s “20 for 20” plan earned her the slot, now she just has to go to the bank and secure a 100 million dollar loan to finance her brainchild.
Unfortunately, she’s also having creative differences with Shyne who wants a bigger piece of the “20 for 20” pie. Shyne isn’t thrilled to be dealing with Cookie instead of Lucious and questions why Lucious hasn’t shown his face since the concert. Cookie says Lucious is focusing on his rehabilitation, and in an effort to get Shyne out of her hair, she agrees to let him produce five albums.
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Don’t Count Out the DuBois’
Diana DuBois is still scheming against the Lyons. Her plan to is deprive each of the Lyon brothers of the thing they cherish the most. She calls it the Wizard of Oz in reverse: Andre is the Scarecrow, Jamal is the Tin Man and Hakeem is the Cowardly Lion.
Angelo’s hands aren’t likely to get dirty because he’s become a nasty, useless, drunk. Diana blames him for getting their family involved with the Lyons in the first place and urges him to find a place in the universe and create a role for himself.
Andre Plays with Fire
Thirsty informs Andre that his people can’t find Giuliana anywhere. He suspects she may already be dead. With Giuliana still missing, the investigation remains open. The police want someone to corroborate Andre’s story.
Andre pays a visit to Detective Pamela Rose, the NYPD liaison on the case. He tells Detective Rose that the reason Giuliana is missing is because anyone stupid enough to try to kill his father is better off in hiding than facing Lucious’ brand of justice. He thinks Rose suspects him and is pushing the cops to investigate him instead of hunting down Lucious’ would-be killer. Rose notes that Andre is sweating, deflecting and out of breath — all behavior associated with someone telling a lie.
After digging a deeper hole for himself with Detective Rose, Andre accompanies Cookie to the bank. Throughout the episode, Cookie has flashbacks about her time in prison. She gets booked, walked to her cell and warned that one wrong move could get her face slashed. She’s determined to keep to herself, but when she perceives another inmate’s interest in her as a threat, she punches the woman who was actually just trying to be friendly to a Philly girl.
The bank refuses to extend Empire Enterprises a line of credit. They think the entertainment industry is too much of a financial risk.
Shyne Learns the Truth About Lucious
Jamal spends quality time with Lucious who is fascinated by Jamal’s songwriting abilities. Lucious doesn’t remember anything about the creative process — he can’t even read sheet music. Lucious wants to know how records are made and asks Jamal to take him to Empire Enterprises to see how the sausage gets made. Thirsty sneaks them in, and Jamal gives Lucious a tour, playing This is Your Life. Lucious’ memory is gone, but his love of music remains intact. Unfortunately, there’s still a disconnect.
Shyne interrupts the top secret, father-son bonding time. Lucious knows that he and Shyne are friends, but he mistakenly claims that they made rap music together. Shyne’s not sure if Lucious is playing him in some way and clarifies that they did a few jams and made a lot of money in the streets. Jamal and Shyne discuss how Lucious used to throw big block parties in Philly where anyone who was anybody would show up, including Will Smith and Rocky Balboa. Lucious looks puzzled, and Jamal obviously wants to help his dad figure out what’s going on but doesn’t know how to handle the situation.
Lucious finally admits that he doesn’t remember the good old days, but he is curious that if he and Shyne were such good friends and shared a passion for music, why didn’t they ever make a song together? Shyne responds that he doesn’t know, but the tension breaks, and Shyne has something for Lucious to listen to, something they worked on together a long time ago that Shyne has been tooling with. When the music starts, Lucious is flooded with a series of brief moments in his history — all violent — which causes him to flip out. This confirms Shyne’s suspisions that Lucious is now “slow.”
Things Heat Up for Andre and Lucious Makes Amends
Detective Rose shows up at Andre’s office. She’s interested in what Andre told her about Giuliana being in hiding because of Lucious. Rose assumes this means Lucious is a pretty scary guy, and she wants to know if Andre is scary too. Andre tells the Detective the next time they speak, his attorney should be present. Before leaving, the Detective makes a pass at Andre saying the idea of getting caught doing something wrong doesn’t scare her, it turns her on.
Lucious calms down from his outburst and reveals that he knew by looking at Shyne that he was a violent man. Lucious could tell they had a history together, and that Shyne was looking for it in his eyes. Lucious wants to know if darkness drove his music. Lucious believes that his family is trying to protect him from himself. Jamal decides to tell the trash can story. Lucious is remorseful that he rejected Jamal for being who he was. Lucious apologizes and thanks Jamal for trusting him with the truth.
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Three is a Crowd
Things are awkward with Anika out of jail. She wants to spend time with Bella, but Hakeem isn’t very accommodating. Anika’s also upset to see how close Bella is to Tatiana. She warns Hakeem that she may have been gone for seven months, and he’d better not forget it.
Diana Buries the Hatchet….Right in Cookie’s Back
Cookie shows up at a party thrown by Forbes and runs into Diana who is eager to point out to the other woman in attendance that Cookie doesn’t have an education outside of prison. Cookie confronts Diana about talking behind her back, and Diana says she was just chatting with her pals about how when people resort to crime and violence to solve problems, they’re likely to wind up back in jail.
Cookie has another flashback that takes place in the wake of her fight. She’s approached by another inmate who befriends Cookie and lets her know they’re all in the same boat — they live together or they die apart.
Cookie decides to try and make amends with Diana. She knows there’s bad blood between them, but she has bigger problems. And for some inexplicable reason, Cookie reveals to Diana and her friends that she got turned down for a line of credit. Cookie admits she may not know as much about business as the others, but she does know music is priceless, and she has to go find a bank that understands that.
One of the woman tells Cookie she was once in the same boat. She was in a jam, needed a bridge loan and got turned down because she’s a woman. The woman offers to spot Cookie 10 million for “20 for 20.” A bunch of other women promise to throw some cash her way as well. They figure the guys on Wall Street don’t have their backs, so they need to look out for each other. Life on the outside isn’t all that different from the inside.
Diana tells Cookie she’s impressed and agrees that it’s time to put the hostility behind them and grabs Cookie’s hand (Ya catch more flies with honey.)
In a completely predictable turn of events, it was Diana’s cousin who turned Cookie down for her loan. Poor Diana, foiled again.
To Tell the Truth
Andre finds himself under surveillance, but Detective Rose is off-duty, and she comes to play.
Warren wants to know why Jamal hasn’t introduced him to Lucious. Warren thinks either Jamal is embarrassed of him or his father and doesn’t understand why they’re keeping secrets. Warren explains that he’s got daddy issues too. Just worming his way into the Tin Man’s heart, so he can rip it out of Jamal’s chest. Jamal winds up revealing Lucious’ brain injury to Warren.
Cookie finally tells Lucious that she was in prison, and it was because of him. Lucious wants to know everything.
Will Shyne try to take control of Empire Enterprises now that he knows about Lucious? Is Detective Rose really into Andre, or is she just playing him? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Empire airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX. Want more news? Visit our Empire page on Facebook.
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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.